Islington’s got bags of talent
Check out our amazing gallery of all the pictures from the night
A RAP GROUP and a schoolboy singer were the stand-out stars of a big community talent contest on Saturday.
Rappers Retroset stormed the Islington’s Got Talent live final on Saturday, at the Rock Tower, in Tufnell Park Road, Tufnell Park, to win the best adult performers award, while 13-year-old Huseyin Govtepe landed the youth category prize.
Twelve acts, including singers, rappers and cheerleaders, battled to be crowned Islington’s most talented, in front of an audience of 900 and a team of industry judges led by Roland Gift, Islington resident and former front-man with 1980s chart stars Fine Young Cannibals.
Andrew Princz, 26, a City University student and member of Caledonian Road-based Restroset, said: “It felt incredible when they announced it. It didn’t really sink in at that moment.
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“It’s great for our confidence as a group. We’re going to take this as a sign to keep on going and working on our music.
“It was a really good event. It’s always good to have somewhere for kids to express themselves, to get off the street and do something productive.”
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Mr Princz and band-mates Tyrone, Daniel and Kirean – fifth member Cequan was unable to make it on the night – won after performing BlackBerry Eye, a song about smart-phones penned by the group. The performances were backed by a top stage crew, with smoke machines and professional lighting adding to the excitement.
Islington’s Got Talent co-founder Katherine McInerney, chairwoman of the Hollins, McCall and Daren Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, on the Tufnell Park Estate, said: “The judges were just amazed. They said it was a fantastic show.
“We’ve watched all the acts from the auditions and seen them grow. Then to see them perform on stage, it was just brilliant. We’re a voluntary group and we work really hard – and to see them on the night, it just makes it so worthwhile.
“There are so many talented kids out there, it’s unbelievable.”
Tacim Govtepe, 23, who saw his brother Huseyin, who goes to Highbury Grove School, in Highbury Grove, lift the youth category award with a rendition of The Script’s Breakeven, said: “He really stood out. I was so proud. He was surprised and a bit in tears when they called out that he had won – but I knew he was going to. Now he’s talking about entering Britain’s Got Talent!”
The acts had spent six weeks together in rehearsals, after coming through a round of auditions that attracted more than 100 contenders.
The performers said there was a sense of camaraderie after the practice sessions.
Singer-songwriter Bandeno, who competed in the adult category, said: “It was great – even though I didn’t win!
“We’ve all become friends through the rehearsals and we’ll keep in touch. It didn’t feel like a competition because everyone gets on so well. It doesn’t matter who won on the day because we were all having fun.”